GEORGE TOWN: A kitchen in Batu Uban used by a popular bamboo briyani stall here has been ordered to close for two weeks after failing to comply with basic hygiene and health standards.
It was shut under Section 11 of the Food Act after Penang Health Department and Penang Island City Council (MBPP) inspectors found cockroaches in the rice cookers, mould on its bamboo cups and cooked food in uncovered containers placed next to open windows.
The team also saw other unhygienic conditions in the kitchen, including a rusty refrigerator used to store food, rotting vegetables believed to have been used for cooking, food waste and foul smells at the cooking area.
The kitchen was used to cook the briyani served at a roadside stall in Taman Pantai Jerejak, located some 2km away.
The business owner told the raiding officers that the kitchen was used to prepare food for catering services and close family members.
But when health officer Mohd Wazir Khalid asked where the stall’s food was cooked, the man admitted it was done in the same kitchen.
Mohd Wazir said that on checking, they found that the kitchen had been built on state land.
He said action would be taken against the kitchen owner for encroaching into the government land under the National Land Code.
The kitchen was slapped with a RM1,000 compound for failing to upkeep cleanliness, he said.
In the five-hour operation dubbed Ops Sapu, some 39 officers from MBPP and the health department were involved.
“A total of five premises were ordered shut and seven compounds worth RM13,500 were issued for various offences related to basic hygiene and health standards by the department,” he said.
He said MBPP also issued nine compounds amounting to RM1,780 for various offences during the operation.